Is There a Way to Prevent Infertility?

Is There a Way to Prevent Infertility?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 6.1 million women in the United States between the ages of 15 and 44 have trouble conceiving or staying pregnant. That’s 10% of reproductive-age women. The numbers for men are almost the same. 

Whether you’re thinking about having a baby now or years in the future, it’s never too early to pay attention to your fertility and to try to maximize or preserve it. Peter L. Chang, MD, and his team of specialists at Noble Fertility Center in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, recommend adopting a healthy lifestyle and good habits to minimize your risk of infertility

Practice safe sex

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) don’t just cause unpleasant symptoms; they can impair your fertility. An STD may scar your sexual organs so they can’t function properly. Chlamydia and gonorrhea, for instance, may cause inflammation that leads to scarring — without creating any noticeable symptoms.

To stay safe, always wear a condom when you have sexual intercourse, even if you use other forms of birth control. Limit the number of partners you have. Be sure to get tested for STDs during your annual gynecologic exam. Contact your doctor if you notice any troubling symptoms, such as unusual vaginal discharge or odor.

Avoid smoking, alcohol, and drugs

You may already know that when you become pregnant, you should stop smoking, drinking alcohol, and using recreational drugs. Those substances can pass through your blood to your fetus and inhibit development.

Even before you become pregnant, you should avoid toxins that rob your cells and tissues of nutrients and hydration. Cigarette smoking dehydrates your body. Tobacco use also changes the quality of your cervical mucus so the sperm can’t reach your eggs as easily as they should.

Alcohol and other drugs may affect your ability to ovulate regularly. Because alcohol and drugs also impair your judgment, they increase the risk that you’ll engage in risky behaviors that could lead to contracting an STD.

Achieve a healthy weight and lifestyle

Both being overweight and being underweight can impair your fertility. The amount of fat you have in your body influences how well your body produces hormones. 

Women who are extremely lean and athletic, for instance, have low body fat. If they work out too much and eat too few calories, they may lose their periods. Eventually, they can become infertile.

Conversely, being overweight also reduces your chances for easy conception and a healthy pregnancy. If you have an eating disorder or need to lose weight permanently, talk to your doctor about a program that helps you focus on healthy foods, moderate amounts of exercise, and achieving a healthy, stable weight.

Listen to your body

If your periods are heavy, prolonged, or painful, don’t just down painkillers and soldier on. Make an appointment with your gynecologist so you can find out what’s causing your pelvic pain, irregular bleeding, and discomfort. Conditions that may change your menstrual cycle and impede your ability to get pregnant include:

Caught early enough, many of these conditions can be resolved or managed. For instance, if you have fibroids, hormonal therapy can shrink them, or your doctor can remove them. If you have PCOS, you may benefit from hormone therapy.

Freeze your eggs 

If now’s not the right time to start or add to your family, you can still take advantage of your young, viable eggs. Today’s technology is so advanced that you may be able to freeze your eggs for up to nine years. Our flash-freezing procedure preserves the egg’s health and viability to increase its chances of being successfully fertilized.

If you’re thinking about having a baby but aren’t quite ready, talk to us about preserving your fertility and freezing your eggs. Contact Noble Fertility Center today by calling our office or using our online booking tool.

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